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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Friends' Gets $10M an Episode

LOS ANGELES -- After dropping broad hints in recent months, the six cast members of "Friends" have agreed to return for a 10th season of the hit comedy next year, Daily Variety reported on its web site.

The trade paper said Saturday that the NBC network will pay the show's producer, Warner Bros. Television, about $10 million an episode, making "Friends" by far the most expensive prime-time show in history.

Warner Bros. had been charging NBC close to $7 million per episode. However, the salaries for the show's main stars will stay pegged at $1 million per episode each, Daily Variety said.

Unlike previous tense negotiations, the key issue this time was the number of episodes that will be shot, the paper said. The stars were reportedly unwilling to shoot a full 22 episodes, although the paper said NBC was still hoping for a complete season.

Paradoxically, the "Friends" renewal is not financially lucrative for either NBC or Warner Bros., Daily Variety said. NBC merely staves off a major ratings blow for another year; Warner Bros. has already sold the show into syndication, which is where the big money is made.